Today is a special day in Detroit, and I’ll bet you can’t guess why. It has nothing to do with automobiles, hockey, or urban renewal. In fact, today’s special occasion involves something I never knew Detroiters were into: Robocop.
I mean, sure, the original 1987 film took place in dystopian Detroit, but I wouldn’t think Detroiters would yearn to be reminded of that, given the verisimilitude. And yet, the Detroit Police Department is abuzz this morning with preparations, and at noon, a 10-foot bronze RoboCop statue (which actually looks a little like C3PO) will arrive at the Public Safety Headquarters, where fans will swarm it for photo ops and pleas for protection.
Aside from the irony of having a robotic super-cop in Detroit, it seems pretty random, doesn’t it? I mean, sure, today just so happens to be the release date for the DVD/Blu-ray RoboCop remake, but why a RoboCop statue in a city that recently declared bankruptcy? The answer can be traced back to Twitter. Of course. Back in 2011, some Masshole sent a tweet to Dave Bing, mayor of Detroit, suggesting that Detroit invest in a RoboCop statue — after all, Philly’s got one of Rocky. Hilariously, the mayor actually responded.
@mayordavebing Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky's butt. He's a GREAT ambassador for Detroit.
— @MT (@MT) February 7, 2011
You can guess what happened next: a Facebook event, Reddit postings, and then the Kickstarter campaign, which unsurprisingly met its goal. I mean, once you hear the idea, it’s irresistible, isn’t it? Since 2011, Detroiters and RoboFans have been following the saga on Detroitneedsrobocop.com, which includes awesome RoboArt from around the city in anticipation of RoboCop’s arrival.
It’s not clear where RoboCop will be installed. Initially, a space in Roosevelt Park was offered up, but then the TechTown campus of Wayne State University made a grab. According to the Kickstarter, “amazing offers [have] come in for different locations around Detroit. The goal is to maximize visibility, visitability, appropriateness of context, and neighborhood reception.” While perhaps RoboCop should live in the highest-crime area, it would be a shame to see him vandalized or beheaded. This is why a real life RoboCop should be Detroit’s next bid.
— FuzzHats (@FuzzHats) February 8, 2011
RoboCop will throw out the first pitch at tonight’s Detroit Tigers baseball game. I’m not entirely sure how that will work, but I do know it will be more successful than 50 Cent’s pitch.